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Trading as a business?
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Trading as a business?

  #11 (permalink)
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Thanks for all of the additional commentary on this post. A lot of great advice and insight. It's good to have a place like futures.io (formerly BMT) where so many experienced traders can share so much wisdom.

To repeat something not to be glossed over, "Trading is one of the toughest businesses in existence. If you are going to start a trading business, I'd recommend hiring the best."

Trading MUST be approached as a business. You must have rules, max drawdowns, max leverage, a proven strategy, an understanding of probabilities. If you want to have the greatest chance of success, you need to be the business owner and the trader/athlete. Both sides require different skill sets, trading will find the weak link.

To give some credit to the business side, I'll go back to a previous thought;

" Trading and gambling are not the same thing. Trading is almost entirely reliant on odds and probabilities, but so is insurance underwriting. Insurance companies really have to know their markets, define their risk, and operate with proper capitalization. I was living in Florida around the time of Hurricane Andrew and my carrier pulled out of the state, as did many others. Not all succeed, and there are always lessons to be learned. Regardless, insurance companies are viewed as "real" businesses. Become an expert at "underwriting" the markets and you can become one of the top 5%! "
https://futures.io/psychology-money-management/11714-gamble-my-middle-name.html#post131953

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  #12 (permalink)
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Hey Lornz,

I know you're not gonna believe this, but I skated (skateboard) from about 6-18. I never did so competitively, but I was quite good (vert). I look back on those days fondly. It pains me a bit that it has become something of an extreme sport now. That is, it seems, you have to be half or completely crazy to make a name for yourself in that arena. Too bad. Anyway, I still highly respect it and there is something of an analog between it and trading. Chicago was not the best place on earth to nurture a skater, and I ultimately left it behind... I still habitually "fingerboard" when I'm at my desk


Lornz View Post
Exactly!

I am actually not a fan of derivatives of "truth", such as analogies, metaphors or similes , but I have always thought of trading as some kind of high-performance sport. This applies only to discretionary intraday trading, of course. Especially scalping. I've played various sports over the years, including football (yes, the European kind is the real type of football, as we don't use our hands...)for 20 years. I find that my routine to prepare for trading the CL open, is very similar to how I used to prepare for a game.

If you really want to compare trading to a sport, I would argue that skateboarding is the closest you can get. Funnily enough, like "skater" , "trader" is almost (?) a derogatory word. Skateboarding is starting to get its deserved attention, though. It damn well should, as it is arguably the most difficult physical endeavor one can undertake, at least in the sports world. It is extremely technical, but also very risky. One needs to keep calm under pressure and execute flawlessly, without succumbing to fear (or hope for that matter). One also quickly learns that fall technique is the key to stay in business, and to "bail" when one is wrong. One shouldn't take on more risk than one can handle...

To prove my point, I give you "Stepping (!) in front of institutional order flow"


and "Being long without a stop during the release of the Philadelphia Fed index"


No matter what analogy one wishes to use, the prevalent problem for most beginning traders is that they are underprepared...



Last edited by zer0; August 21st, 2011 at 01:05 PM.
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  #13 (permalink)
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When it comes to discretionary trading, no doubt it resembles sport more closely than business. This makes those who will rise to the top, few. The good news is, it is possible to develop systems (rule-based) that can work well enough to build wealth from, or to 'make a living' from. In spite of growing up an athlete, I admit that I am not at all the best discretionary trader. I built a methodology around my emotional limits and follow the system as closely as I can (I am not currently automated). So, to sum it up, I'd say: It is when you possess both characteristics, that you really shine.


GaryD View Post
You'll read a lot a traders saying that trading needs to be approached as a "business". To some degree that is true. Yes, definately you need a trading plan, you need rules, you need some sort of mathematical advantage, you need to treat it seriously and not as a hobby, you need to trade with less emotion ond more logic, you need to acquire certain skills to be a "professional", etc.

But, something that helped me, having had numerous succesful business over time, but still not quite getting the hang of trading, was to see it as more of sport than a business. Here are some questions I asked myself;

What if math and indicators were nothing but the playing field? Does just being on the field make you an athlete?

What if a trading plan was nothing more than the rules that goverened the game? Will just understanding the rules make you a winner?

What would the sport then be?

What strengths would be required? How would you practice?

Trading can be a great business, but you'd better be in top shape...

Learn your market's personality, it's movements, how it "feels", which days it seems to do what.

Be aware, alert, nimble, flexible.

Have strength and endurance.

Practice longer and harder than everyone else.


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  #14 (permalink)
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zer0 View Post
Hey Lornz,

I know you're not gonna believe this, but I skated (skateboard) from about 6-18. I never did so competitively, but I was quite good (vert). I look back on those days fondly. It pains me a bit that it has become something of an extreme sport now. That is, it seems, you have to be half or completely crazy to make a name for yourself in that arena. Too bad. Anyway, I still highly respect it and there is something of an analog between it and trading. Chicago was not the best place on earth to nurture a skater, and I ultimately left it behind... I still habitually "fingerboard" when I'm at my desk

Haha, why I am not surprised? But, alas, I was strictly a street skater. Norway was definitely a good place to skate either, we had to learn everything a new every spring. It's hard to skate on snow... Sometimes, when the snow wasn't too bad, we skated on a 15 x 5 meter flat surface that was barely under a roof. Nothing like skating in -10 degrees Celsius. I started when I was 14 and drifted away from it in my early 20s. But once a skater... It is something magical about it. You get a completely different view on your surroundings, seeing only opportunities in the urban landscape... It's kind of similar to finance in that way as well. I got a better understanding of how the world is put together as my knowledge of economics/finance increased...

As you were a vert skater, I am sure you did this in a dark corner of one of Chi-towns many 'burbs several years before Burnquist?


I need to get me a fingerboard again, that's what got me through school...

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  #15 (permalink)
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If you have enough knowledges it can be your business, but if you a like a begginer it has to be just like your hobby. To be just lucky man is not enough for trading, i have already understood this)))

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  #16 (permalink)
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No 'Christ air backflips', but 'ollie 540's' perhaps Seriously though, skating is magical, and once a skater, always a skater. I look fondly on those days and always will.


Lornz View Post
Haha, why I am not surprised? But, alas, I was strictly a street skater. Norway was definitely a good place to skate either, we had to learn everything a new every spring. It's hard to skate on snow... Sometimes, when the snow wasn't too bad, we skated on a 15 x 5 meter flat surface that was barely under a roof. Nothing like skating in -10 degrees Celsius. I started when I was 14 and drifted away from it in my early 20s. But once a skater... It is something magical about it. You get a completely different view on your surroundings, seeing only opportunities in the urban landscape... It's kind of similar to finance in that way as well. I got a better understanding of how the world is put together as my knowledge of economics/finance increased...

As you were a vert skater, I am sure you did this in a dark corner of one of Chi-towns many 'burbs several years before Burnquist?


I need to get me a fingerboard again, that's what got me through school...


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